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Designing Woman

Joan Peters Osterville

Peters’ popular toile patterns depict the familiar scenes of the region.

Peters is known for the unique fabrics and wallpaper she designs that represent the region, but perhaps few are also aware of her magnificent oil paintings that grace the walls of her showroom, now located at 885 Main Street in the village of Osterville. These richly sumptuous paintings depict local scenes, flora and fauna in soft hues of blue, green, yellow and pink—evocative of the impressionistic style of world-renown masters but with a fresher sensibility. Joan explains her technique by saying, “I took a class in oil painting, but honestly I do it in a different way, I use a palette knife,” noting that the images jump off the canvas with their three-dimensional structure.

Peters says that many of the interior design clients she works with often ask for commissioned pieces to complement the other work she accomplishes in their homes. But many customers who just stop in the showroom expecting to find fabric, wall covering and other small custom accessories are surprised to find the walls covered in the colorful imagery of Peters’ paintings. “’You paint too?’ is what people always say when they walk in here. I actually find it funny because of course I paint. That is how I create my fabrics and wallpaper,” Peters says with a smile.

The early years of her signature lines of fabrics included her now famous hydrangeas in a myriad of patterns that depict an explosion of blooms, similar to the profusion the shrubs display every July. Other patterns have the iconic blooms nestled in Nantucket baskets with billowing ribbons accenting the pattern’s repeat. All of Peters’ fabrics are available in sateen cotton or can be custom ordered in any other fabric, including upholstery weight cotton. Additionally, Peters has applied her artistic touch to sinks and tile that she hand paints and fires. Most anything that doesn’t run away has been embellished with Peters’ designs, including lampshades, furniture and even glass window panes.

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